Why Innovative Projects Fail

Cooper talks about fifteen critical success factors for innovative products, based on the NewProd Study. To sum up, I want to single out several reasons why innovative projects fail.

  1. The product/service developed does not have a real competitive advantage against competing products (also substitutes) and does not offer any added value for the customer.  In this case, you have to compete on price, which is often not possible for innovative products due to high R&D costs.
  2. The target market is unattractive and the product is not scalable to other markets (including the markets abroad).
  3. The necessary research on the target market, as well as  financial and technical feasibility of the project had been skipped or insufficiently conducted before the project was pushed into the pipeline. Too much rush in implementing the project. Think of the time-to-profit, not time-to-market.
  4. The product or service were not defined clearly from the start (including technical specifications, distribution channels and market positioning).  I think the reason behind it is the desire to leave the side door open for sudden changes. But without any clear definition the project cannot be successfully managed by a cross-functional team.
  5. The project team members cannot (missing competencies) or are not willing (missing understanding) to work on the innovative project. The human factor must not be underestimated!
  6. The company has too many projects in the pipeline, the decisions to “kill” do not take place on time. This leads to the resources being spread too thinly and insufficient time and money granted to the potential winner projects.
  7. The organizational structure and the culture of the organization do not allow for the necessary flexibility in the innovative process. The innovative projects have no “advocates” in the company management.
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Author: Elena

I acquired a BA degree in International Business with a specialization in Marketing from Nuremberg Technical School and a parallel degree from Leeds Metropolitan University. In 2013-2014, I worked in the field of performance and conversion optimization with an IT company and then was employed in content marketing. In 2016, I went back to working with Web Analytics and gained additional experience in project management. During this time, I received an Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics from the University of British Columbia (Canada). Currently, I am employed in Online Marketing. My areas of specialization include online marketing strategy, content creation, web analytics, conversion optimization and usability.

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